Are life insurance proceeds part of deceased's estate if they are payable to a person?

Question Details: Mom's 3 life insurance policies were made payable to me, as sole beneficiary. However, after paying her funeral expenses, the attorney said the proceeds were part of her estate and made me deposit the proceeds, approximately $11,000, into the estate checking account. How can they be part of her estate if I was the sole named beneficiary of all 3 policies? I thought life insurance policies were paid to the named beneficiary and the proceeds were theirs to keep?

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